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August 19, 2003
Yeo bo se yo!!!! That is hello in Korean!!!!
What an opportunity of a lifetime!!! Being in Korea for the World University Games is so educational and such an adventure!!
I have been in Deagu, Korea for almost a week now and I'm staying in the Athlete's Village with the USA Swim Team! We are 14 hours ahead of the time at Purdue! So it is 12 noon here on Wednesday August 20 and it is 10 pm at home, Tuesday the 19th! There are 140 nations represented and 7,700 athletes participating! It is wonderful exploring the village and watching people from all the different cultures. It is also amazing to me how universal and powerful a smile is!!
The first few days I have found an internet cafe, purchased a phone card, exchanged my American dollars to Korean wons, (11.00 wons to 1 American dollar) found Starbucks coffee, and experienced an all-Asian church service in English!! They actually stopped the service and took pictures of me! :)
My biggest challenge is arranging transportation for 60 swimmers and staff to and from the swimming venues. I have found a wonderful Korean friend, Cynthia, and she has been our interpreter. She is the girl in the picture with me at the Duryu Swim Pool, which is where the swim meet takes place!
Tomorrow, Thursday the 21st, is the Opening Ceremonies. I am really looking forward to marching in the parade under the American flag and representing USA!! The swimming competition starts Sunday the 24th and the team is looking better each day! I will write again after the games begin and share my continued journey at the World University Games!!
PS to the Purdue Team.....I can't wait to start our new season together!! I hope you are getting settled in, organized and excited for our fantastic year ahead of us! See you soon. SUGOHASEYO "Keep up the good work"